|John Kerry (R) and Dinh The Huynh at a press conference
He made the affirmation during talks with Dinh The Huynh, Politburo member and Standing member of the CPV Central Committee’s Secretariat, in Washington DC on October 25.
Huynh, who is visiting the US from October 24-30 at the invitation of Kerry, expressed delight at the progress in the two countries’ partnership, particularly the implementation of commitments made by their leaders during Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit to the US in July 2015 and the visit to Vietnam by President Barack Obama last May.
He reiterated the Vietnamese Party and State’s policy of treasuring friendship and cooperation with the US, alongside their compreshensive partnership.
The two countries should foster comprehensive cooperation for development by increasing visits at all levels, expanding consultation mechanisms on issues of shared concern and boosting the effectiveness of existing cooperation mechanisms.
Economic, trade and investment partnerships need to be enhanced to push bilateral relations forward. It is also necessary to strengthen ties in science, education, health care, environment, infrastructure connectivity, renewable energy, and climate change response, he noted.
He also called for stronger defence-security links, including realising the Joint Vision Statement on Defence Relations, and more people-to-people exchanges, while prioritising the settlement of war consequences and humanitarian aid. Vietnam and the US should also cooperate more at regional and multilateral forums.
The Southeast Asian nation is preparing to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, the visiting official said, asking the US to accelerate the ratification of the deal.
He also hoped that the US will soon recognise Vietnam’s economy as a market economy, open its market to more Vietnamese agricultural products, and reduce trade barriers.
At the talks, Huynh discussed human rights with John Kerry, stressing that ensuring human rights is a top priority of his country. Vietnam wishes to continue discussing this issue with the US in an open and constructive manner.
Regarding regional and international problems, he said Vietnam welcomes improved US relations with Asia-Pacific countries, including Southeast Asian nations.
Vietnam is willing to work with the US and relevant countries to boost ASEAN’s central role and build ASEAN-led mechanisms to form regional architecture in the 21 st century, he noted.
He spoke highly of Secretary Kerry and the US Government’s attention to the East Sea situation, repeating Vietnam’s viewpoint of resolving East Sea disputes through peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS), with respect to diplomatic and legal processes, and without force, threat to use force, or militarisation and unilateral actions.
Vietnam supports the maintenance of peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea; the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, and efforts to finalise a Code of Conduct.
It also welcomes the active role of countries inside and outside of the region, including the US, in keeping peace and stability in the East Sea and the US’s cooperation in coping with climate change, protecting the environment and boosting development cooperation in Asia-Pacific, Huynh added.
He hoped that the US will continue bolstering collaboration with Asia-Pacific countries, including Vietnam.
On behalf of Vietnam’s Party and State leaders, he invited the next President of the US to visit his country during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in 2017.
At the talks, Secretary Kerry conveyed President Obama’s message of treasuring US-Vietnam ties to Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and President Tran Dai Quang.
He affirmed that after the November 8 election, the US will continue its rebalancing efforts in Asia Pacific and relations with ASEAN, including Vietnam.
He praised the expansion of bilateral ties, especially since the historic visits by their leaders. The US values Vietnam’s position and considers the country an important partner.
The US will work to implement commitments with Vietnam in prioritised areas, in line with the 2013 Joint Statement on the Comprehensive Partnership and the 2015 Joint Vision Statement.
The US prioritises cooperation with the ASEAN member nation in economy, trade, education, science-technology, defence, war consequences settlement, and efforts to ratify the TPP, he added.
Kerry said the US’s approach to the East Sea issue is based on the basic principles of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS. The US called on all relevant parties to comply with the ruling issued by The Hague tribunal last July, and ensure peace and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea.
Echoing Huynh’s opinions, he said he believes that their countries’ relations will continue to thrive for their own nations’ interests and regional and global peace, stability, cooperation and development.
Following the talks, Kerry hosted a banquet in honour of the Vietnamese Party delegation.
Also on October 25, Huynh met with US Trade Representative Michael Froman and leaders of the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute of the US’s Republican Party and Democratic Party.
Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, also sent a letter congratulating the Vietnamese delegation on their visit, saying the trip contributed to bilateral ties.